Bianca J. Baldridge

Associate Professor

(608) 262-1718

211 Education Building

1000 Bascom Mall

Madison, WI 53706

Baldridge, Bianca

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Bianca J. Baldridge is an associate professor in the department of educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. As a sociologist of education, Dr. Baldridge explores the socio-political context of community-based youth work and afterschool education. Dr. Baldridge’s research critically examines the confluence of race, class, and gender, and how they impact educational reforms that shape community-based spaces that engage Black and Latinx youth in the U.S. She explores the organizational and pedagogical practices employed by youth workers amid neoliberal education restructuring. Dr. Baldridge’s book, Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work, examines how market-based reforms (with their emphasis on privatization and accountability), race, and paternalism work together to undermine Black community-based organizations’ efforts to support comprehensive youth development opportunities. Her book received the 2019 American Educational Studies Association Critic’s Choice Book Award. With the support of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship program, Dr. Baldridge studied how, in predominantly white cities that espouse a liberal and progressive ethos, racial discourse shapes community-based spaces that engage Black youth.

Dr. Baldridge serves on the Out-of-School Time Special Interest Group’s executive leadership team within the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Baldridge recently completed a residency with the Spencer Foundation, where she created and facilitated a webinar entitled “Lifting Up Youth Work Amid State Violence and Global Pandemic: Supporting Young People, Youth Workers, and Community-based Educational Spaces.” The webinar featured leading scholars and community-based leaders in OST. Her current research examines how Black community-based youth organizations and youth workers respond to city change and displacement fueled by gentrification and neoliberal education restructuring. She is also co-leading a national study on equity and the out-of-school time sector for the Wallace Foundation. Dr. Baldridge regularly facilitates professional development opportunities for youth workers and community-based leaders throughout the country.

Dr. Baldridge’s research is featured in the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Research in Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education. Her background as a youth worker informs her scholarship in profound ways.


  • PhD Sociology and Education, Columbia University, Teacher’s College , 2012
  • M Ed Sociology and Education, Columbia University, Teacher’s College, 2007
  • BA American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2005

Select Publications

  • Medina, J. C., Baldridge, B., & Wiggins, T. (2020) (In Press) Partnering in a Divisive Climate: Youth-Adult Partnerships in the Current Era At Our Best: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings Information Age Publishing, Inc..
  • Baldridge, B. (2019) Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Baldridge, B. J. (2018) On educational advocacy and cultural work: Situating community-based youth work[ers] in broader educational discourse Teachers College Record, 120(2), 1-28.
  • Baldridge, B. J. (2018) It's not just We Got Y'all: When non-profits frame Black youth as deprived and in need of saviors Black Youth Project Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Baldridge, B. J., Beck, N., Medina, J. C., & Reeves, M. A. (2017) Towards a new understanding of community-based education: The role of community based educational spaces in disrupting inequality for minoritized youth Review of Research in Education, 41(1), 381-402.
  • Baldridge, B. J. (2016) “It’s like this myth of the supernegro:” Resisting narratives of damage and struggle in the neoliberal educational policy context Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 1-15.
  • Baldridge, B. J. (2014) Relocating the deficit: Reimagining Black youth in neoliberal times American Educational Research Journal, 51(3) Online Publication/Abstract.
  • Baldridge, B. J. (2014) Shaming Black Youth is Not the Way Capital Times
  • Baldridge, B. J., Hill, M. L., & Davis, J. E. (2011) New possibilities: (Re)engaging Black male youth within community-based educational spaces Race, Ethnicity and Education, 15(1) Online Publication/Abstract.

Select Presentations

  • Baldridge, B., Bullock, E. C., Alexander, K., & Diamond, J., American Educational Studies Association Annual Meeting, "Mobilizing Youth Voices for Racial Justice and Democracy" (2019), Baltimore, Maryland
  • Baldridge, B., Racial Justice Summit, "Building Community to Transform: Communities of Practice as a Tool to Disrupt Whiteness in Out-of-School Time" (2019), Madison, Wisconsin
  • Baldridge, B., American Sociological Association, "Exploring Race and the Emotionality of Whiteness in Community-based Youth Organizations" (2019), New York, NY
  • Baldridge, B., Diamond, J., Alexander, K., & Bullock, E. C., World Education Research Association Conference, "Mobilizing Youth Voices for Democracy and Racial Justice in the USA" (2019), Tokyo, Japan
  • Baldridge, B., Mindfulness for the People Summer Institute, "Understanding White Racial Frames and Anti-Blackness in Youth Serving Organizations" (2019), Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Baldridge, B., Association of Black Sociologists, "Anti-Blackness in "Nice" White Liberal Spaces: How Community-Based Education Spaces Disrupt and Reproduce Racial Harm" (2018), Philadelphia, PA
  • Baldridge, B., Critical Educators for Social Justice Special Interest Group, Graduate Student Forum, American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, "Fostering Subversive Scholarship: Toward Critical Hope, Healing and Radical Love in Educational" (2018), New York, New York
  • Baldridge, B., Association of Black Sociologists Annual Meeting, "Disrupting Hero Narratives, Black Ones Too" (2017), Montreal, Canada
  • Baldridge, B., American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, ""It was never ours:" Neoliberal Paternalism, Black Youth, and Reclaiming Community-based Educational Spaces" (2017), San Antonio, Texas
  • Baldridge, B., American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, "Disrupting Narratives of Damage and Struggle in Black Youth Organizations" (2017), San Antonio, Texas

Select Awards and Honors

  • Scholar-In-Residence, Spencer Foundation, (2019, 2020)
  • Distinguished Teaching Award: Excellence in Community-Based Learning, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019
  • Honored Instructors Award, Academic Initiatives, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019
  • Scholars Award Finalist, William T. Grant Foundation, 2019
  • Outstanding Woman of Color Award, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018
  • NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, (2016, 2017)
  • Ford Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship Finalist - Alternate, 2016
  • Honored Instructors Award, Academic Initiatives, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Finalist - Alternate, Ford Foundation, 2015
  • Honored Instructors Award, Academic Initiatives, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013